Local First hosted our inaugural Good for Grand Rapids Awards ceremony last week. Thanks again for everyone who came out to help us celebrate business as a force for good! Thank you also to everyone to participated in the campaign this year. In case you missed it, here is a snapshot of each of the award recipients and the things they do to make our community great. You can also check out the highlights on Facebook!
Furniture City Creamery
Furniture City Creamery handcrafts from-scratch, gourmet and unique ice cream flavors and frozen treats from its quaint storefront in the East Hills shopping district. Every flavor begins with its own recipe, which has been engineered until it becomes a work of culinary art.
Furniture City Creamery is “Good for the Environment” because they strive to engineer thoughtfully created and delicious products in a sustainable way, considering facets beyond the bottom line. They serve and sell their treats using compostable and reusable materials and use up-cycled furniture to build their ice cream carts. In 2017, owners researched compostable push pops to bring to Local First’s Fork Fest.
In its 43rd year of serving Grand Rapids, Community Automotive is an automotive repair and service company located on Fulton Street. They were founded with a vision to enhance the surrounding neighborhood by providing auto repair services and making a positive impact on the environment.
Community Automotive is “Good for the Environment” because they are committed to continuously improving the products they offer, the customer care that is given, and the environmental impact they have. They recently became one of the only LEED certified auto repair stores in the U.S. They recycle all metal products from vehicles, old tires, electronics and paper and plastic parts. In addition, 95 percent of their shop’s heat is produced with waste oil from cars.
Hire for Hope
Hire for Hope is a socially-conscious recruiting firm focused on hiring sales and operations professionals for West Michigan companies. They partner with a diverse client base and assists with finding top talent for permanent mid- to senior-level positions.
Hire for Hope is “Good for the Community” because giving back is a permanent part of their mission. They have a philanthropic focus, donating 10 percent of their revenue to Safe Haven Ministries, a local nonprofit and domestic violence agency located in West Michigan. As a survivor of domestic abuse, owner and founder Ashley Ward is dedicated to giving women and children access to the same services and resources that helped her thrive.
Celebration! Cinema and Studio C! are committed to creating space where magic happens. They do this through their people, programing, community partnerships, and gathering spaces.
Celebration! Cinema is “Good for the Community” because of their intentional and inclusive practices. In addition to hiring individuals who reflect the communities in which they operate, they empower their staff through business transparency and training on the art of celebrated service. They bring the community together through partnerships with organizations such as DisArt, Mosaic Film Experience, Treetops Collective, Partners for a Racism-Free Community, WGVU and many others. Their space is often used as a hub for community events and fundraisers and their Sensory Showtimes make movies welcoming for individuals in the disabled community.
Glamour and Grit Floral
Glamour and Grit Floral offers beautiful, environmentally and socially conscious floral design. As a floral designer, Glamour and Grit is committed to reducing their carbon footprint by composting all flower clippings, using recycled glass vases and offering locally grown flowers and plants.
Glamour and Grit Floral is “Good for Governance” because they truly care about the Grand Rapids community and want to see it thrive. They practice financial transparency with their employees and constantly look for ways to improve their practices. They also set goals for social and environmental performance, which they share publicly with their staff and clients.
Wolverine Coil Spring
For over 70 years, Wolverine Coil Spring Co. has manufactured springs, coils, stampings and forms for the automotive, office furniture and other industries. They are committed to being a great place to work and to also being involved in the community.
Wolverine Coil Spring Co. is “Good for Governance” because they incorporated the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit) into their mission statement and bylaws. They offer living wages, short-term and long-term disability, 401K benefits, and a workplace wellness program. Both the health and financial wellness of employees is part of their business structure. Every Friday, the Wolverine Coil Spring Co. team takes a walk along the river. They also provide an incentive-driven wellness plan that offers bonuses for employees who meet their health goals.
Lindo Mexico Restaurant
Lindo Mexico is a restaurant that exists to provide an exceptional experience to all its customers and accomplishes this by using high-quality ingredients, offering unique beverages and live music, and through their commitment to supporting the community. Lindo Mexico is founded on a culture that offers growth for employees to develop their skills so they can better serve themselves and the local community.
Lindo Mexico is “Good for Employees” because they believe when they invest in employees, they are investing in family. They are committed to helping their staff grow and doing so through education. Gricelda Mata, owner of Lindo Mexico, says that she is happy to provide jobs, but is even happier when she is able to offer her employees a workshop that focuses on development.
Malamiah Juice Bar
Malamiah Juice Bar is a family-owned business that specializes in creating delicious juices and smoothies. They strive to provide a joyful environment that enhances the mood of all who interact with their business. They respect the planet by making choices that prioritize sustainability and intentionally contribute to local economic growth.
Malamiah Juice Bar is “Good for Employees” because they provide meaningful youth employment opportunities that help develop important life skills. They design their employment framework to provide young people with work-based mentoring and leadership development. In addition to building character and confidence, their employees are also learning the value of nutrition and healthy living.
Businesses and nonprofits need to keep a lot of records: Sales, donations, addresses, historical data, and engagement benchmarks. When these records are off or unorganized, it can create a lot of extra work and soak up hours of time. In some cases, it can even put institutions in jeopardy.
Baseball, business, and the real stakeholders: How entrepreneurs are changing the status quo